Jesus and His disciples get off the boat and go to the synagogue in Capernaum. It had been quite a night! The disciples were still not sure if Jesus had actually walked on the water or if they had dreamed the whole thing. He was a mysterious friend, this Jesus. Sometimes they just didn’t know what to make of Him. Today was not going to be any easier. Indeed Jesus’ words in Capernaum were going to provoke a response. We join Jesus, His disciples and those who followed from yesterday’s feeding of the 5000… in the synagogue.
After the feeding of the 5000, Jesus missed the boat because He went up into the mountains to escape the crowds who thought He was a prophet. John 6:66 reports that after Jesus spoke in the synagogue in Capernaum
…a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him.
What did Jesus say that made such a difference in less than 24 hours’ time? Beginning in verse 25 Jesus tells them they were only following Him to get more bread to eat. He tried to explain He wasn’t there to feed them physically like Moses had fed their ancestors. He was there to feed them spiritually.
We who are Christian get what He meant today, but back then this was a new concept and the more Jesus elaborated on the subject the more insane He appeared.
Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you. The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. By eating my flesh and drinking my blood you enter into me and I into you. In the same way that the fully alive Father sent me here and I live because of him, so the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me. This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always.”
He said these things while teaching in the meeting place in Capernaum.
Many among his disciples heard this and said, “This is tough teaching, too tough to swallow.”~John 6:53-60 (The Message)
I read yesterday that Kristen Steward of Twilight fame had surpassed Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker, last year’s co-winners, as the highest paid female actress in the world http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/jun/20/kristen-stewart-highest-paid-female-star. I guess movies like the Twilight series, that center around drinking blood, have a certain appeal today, but Jesus’ announcement that those who would follow Him would have to eat His body and drink His blood were not appealing when He said them. In fact, many found the teaching repulsive and quickly left. With verse 67 the passage comes to a close
Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: “Do you also want to leave?”
It is the very same question He asks all of us.